Blood Lead Level

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The amount of lead present in the blood serum is known as the blood lead level. A Blood lead level test is performed to measure the amount of lead that is circulating in the blood and the amount that has been stored permanently in the body. Though the presence of lead in small quantities in the body doesn’t necessarily harm it, over a period of time, if the lead accumulates, it can cause lead poisoning.

Lead, when present in the human body, can be found in the blood and the urine. Apart from these, lead also sometimes gets accumulated on the bones, hairs and teeth of the affected person. A blood level test is performed to measure the level of lead present in an individual’s body.

Childhood lead poisoning continues to be one of the most serious problems of children in the world. Lead is often inhaled when it’s airborne in the form of fine particles. Usually such airborne lead is emitted from the exhaust of automobiles or from the lead based paints etc.

The nervous system and the kidneys are the worst affected by lead. Apart from these, lead accumulation in the body is harmful for the soft tissues too. The amount of erythrocyte protoporphyrin increases when the amount of lead in the blood is higher than normal.

For normal lead levels, blood in adults show less than 20 micrograms per deciliter. In children, the normal blood lead levels are much lower. In children, lead poisoning blood levels are more than 10 micrograms per deciliter of lead in the blood.

Symptoms of Lead Poisoning

If the adults are continuously exposed to lead, the quantity of lead about 40 micrograms per deciliter can be extremely harmful and sometimes fatal too. The common symptoms of lead poisoning are irritability, headaches, constant fatigue, nausea and vomiting, sluggishness, constipation, abnormal weight loss, anemia, pain in joints, and sometimes seizures. If you are experiencing these symptoms and are working in an environment where your exposure to lead is significant, a blood lead level test should be taken immediately. If the CDC blood lead levels are matched, then further investigation may be required. However, if the lead levels are above the CDC recommendations, treatment should be received immediately, before the lead begins to affect the vital organs.

Industrial workers and children in the urban areas are especially susceptible to lead poisoning. Though low levels of lead are not that harmful in adults, they can wreak havoc in a child’s body and therefore necessary preventive measures should be taken to avoid exposure to lead.